He’s got a million of them

Tuesday 28 July 2009

Among the memorials and tributes to Merce Cunningham, I’ve seen yet another pithy quote from Morton Feldman which I didn’t know about before. I don’t know where this one comes from, but it’s in a description of the unusual way Cunningham often worked with artists and composers he knew well.

His works may have a score, but it’s made separately from the choreography; the same can go for the set. Elements meant to work together in performance are created independently by a cohort of trusted collaborators. Composer Morton Feldman explained the process like this: “Suppose your daughter is getting married and her wedding dress won’t be ready until the morning of the wedding, but it’s by Dior.”